Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Toroughbred paintings," as she puts it. Her clientele includes Queen Elizabeth II, the ruling family of Dubai, the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs and private col- lectors in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Japan. Tanks to her second passion, collecting antique Dresden and Meissen china, Wear may soon become a household name. Last July she launched the Julie Wear Designs por- celain dinnerware collection at the Atlanta Home & Gift Show. Her goal: to offer fine American china at a "good price point" — five-piece place settings retail for $289-$328 — with a "European, hand-painted, designer look to fit a variety of homes." Te collection currently consists of eight patterns, but many more are dancing in her head. "I have tons more ideas. I wish I didn't have to sleep!" she says. "Tere are so many things to paint I've never painted before. I'm applying everything I've learned." It took an average of two months, work- ing in her Versailles, Ky., studio, to design and paint each pattern. Readying the designs for production was another matter. For her Equestrian and Elegance trays, she sent origi- nal oil paintings to Italy to prepare the decals for application and firing in the U.S. "We proofed the presentation trays six times. It took between nine months and a year to get them right," she says. Of the patterns currently available, Wear's favorite is Imperial Horse. "It's so decorative, so unusual. It's a pattern for somebody who doesn't mind being a little bold," she says. Se- lect patterns are available locally at Dolfingers in Shelbyville Road Plaza and at Wakefield- Scearce Galleries in Shelbyville. All can be ordered online at juliewear.com. Bourbon Barrel Breakdown On warm days, the smell of bourbon wafts from Jason Cohen's Butchertown workshop. It's not because he's drinking on the job. Te scent comes from the reclaimed bourbon bar- rels he uses for fashioning his contemporary furnishings. Cohen, who describes himself as a "wan- nabe architect kid," first became intrigued with wood while stripping furniture on Hilton Head Island on the South Carolina coast. In 1998 he returned to his Louisville hometown and launched his career in wood- working by selling his car and using the pro- ceeds to buy a lathe and minivan. He started small — making wine stoppers in his parents' garage — but, as his skills increased, segued into furniture and custom commissions. It was a custom commission, in fact, that led to the bourbon-barrel stools and pub ta- ble that took top honors in the Home catego- ry of Garden & Gun magazine's 2011 "Made in the South Awards." Bourbon Barrel Foods proprietor Matt Jamie commissioned him to "make a stool for putting on his (work) boots" out of barrels that could no longer be employed for producing the company's gour- met sauces and seasonings, Cohen recalls. Rather than using a whole barrel or sawing one in half — "the barrel shape is so over- Jason Cohen's barrel-crafted stools sell for $180-$220; his tables $365-$425; and his votives $10-$45. done," Cohen contends — he broke one down into its original components — heads and staves — and combined the pieces to form an airy, modern-looking tripod. Te finished product was so attractive that Jamie persuaded him to design a matching pub table. Since then, Cohen has added a bench, bar table and votive candleholders to his bourbon-barrel line and is currently in the process of perfecting a Victorian-style folding steamer chair and a chandelier. Each handcrafted piece is made to order and finished with a water-based varnish, al- lowing the furniture to be used indoors or out. "White oak is pretty indestructible," Cohen says. And each creation preserves the integrity of the barrels it was made from, with bungholes, charring and imperfections add- ing character and warmth. "Imperfections are what I live for," Cohen says. Te furniture can be ordered directly at Cohen's JC Wood Artisan workshop at 931 E. Main St., at Steepleton on Hubbards Lane in St. Matthews or online at cohen- wood.com. Q 4.12 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE [117]

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